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10.22.23 – Pawhuska Journal Capital –Sen. Bill Coleman

Sen. Bill Coleman

Sen. Bill Coleman gives an update on legislative briefings regarding artificial intelligence.

This week in Business and Commerce we examined the fascinating world of artificial intelligence (AI). This technology simulates human intelligence processes through machines and computer systems, including organizing data and learning language and speech patterns with just a few initial words from an individual, among other abilities. On one hand, it’s an amazing technological advancement but also offers concerning opportunities for scams and other illegal activity.

As the use of this technology becomes more widespread, it’s important that we understand its potential impact on various industries, education, and other areas, as well as know what safeguards other states have successfully enacted to protect their citizens and business communities.

We got an overview of AI and its history from Dr. Herb Lin, a Hoover Institute Fellow in Cyber Policy and Security. Sean Alexander, an independent consultant who previously was the principal director of Microsoft AI, shared about the possibilities AI presents and how it can be applied. Cody Allen, with the Council of State Governments, filled us in on what guidelines other states have. B.J. Crocker, with BitGlobal Energy, discussed the importance of developing an AI Awareness/Policy Base. Rob Lincourt, an engineer with Dell Technologies, went over some present industry standards and possible future expansion of the technology. Finally, we heard from OMES Chief Information Officer Joe McIntosh about how that state agency is using AI.

Most of the presentations focused on the fact that AI can be used to advance Oklahoma industries. Dr. Lin said it’s a useful tool that must be used judiciously, and that while many fear it will replace human workers, he said it’ll simply augment rather than replace them. He said it will make difficult parts of one’s job easier, so that an individual can focus on more pertinent tasks. Lin also acknowledged that while AI can do math equations and compile data faster than a human, it still can’t process emotion or decipher such things as fairness or bias. His conclusion was it’s great when it works but still rather unpredictable, and he warned that we should proceed cautiously when presented with technology vendors’ suggested services.

Mr. Alexander shared how Oklahoma companies, like Baker Hughes, are using AI, particularly language bot ChatGPT, which uses data and algorithms to solve problems and write prompts. It’s also been used in government, education, cybersecurity, and manufacturing. He noted that companies using AI typically see a 40% improvement in efficiency compared to typical employees. His main legislative recommendation was creating an AI Bill of Rights to hold companies accountable by setting parameters of appropriate usage while also protecting workers.

Being a broadcaster, I’m especially interested in programs that can allow us to make commercials without sponsors being in studio. However, AI can also be dangerous in the wrong hands, especially communist countries where the media is government-run or strongly controlled. AI can be used to easily fabricate false news stories, making it easier for corrupt governments to manipulate their citizens.

There’s no doubt this is a thriving and growing industry, generating nearly $40 billion in revenue in 2022 according to a June Bloomberg Report – a number that’s expected to climb to $1.3 trillion by 2032.

We’ll continue studying this issue, and the governor has also assembled a task force to further examine the potential uses, benefits and any security issues that could arise. The committee will research whether AI can be useful in the classroom, help make government more efficient or better train the state’s workforce.

You can contact me by calling (405) 521-5581 or emailing Bill.Coleman@oksenate.gov.